35 Nations and Regions Participate in HCM City’s World Vovinam Championship

2023 marks the 111th anniversary of the birth of the Vovinam founder, the 85th anniversary of the Sect's establishment, and the exciting arrival of the third term World Vovinam Federation Congress (2023-2027).

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The 7th World Vovinam Championship kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on November 24, with the participation of more than 650 athletes from 35 countries and territories worldwide, VNA reported.

They will compete for 44 sets of medals in both performance and combat events at the week-long festival.

At the opening ceremony, Vietnam’s national Vovinam team and prominent international athletes from all four continents performed “Essence of Vovinam”, with many unique and surprising performances. Additionally, 700 high school students from Chinh Nghia and Bau Sen primary schools in District 5 performed the Vovinam musical performance.

Vovinam has been an ambassador and an essential means of effective Cultural Diplomacy for Vietnam in promoting the country’s image, people, and culture imbued with national identity to international friends through festivals, political, cultural, and social events held both domestically and internationally. It is a great source of pride for the Vietnamese people, as well as martial arts enthusiasts around the world. This also affirms Vietnam’s ability to organize and host large-scale sports tournaments.

35 Countries, Territories Take Part in World Vovinam Championship in HCM City
A performance at the opening ceremony. Source: thethao.sggp.org.vn

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Phan Van Mai, the Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, stated that the championship provides a platform for domestic and international martial artists to exchange experience and gain a better understanding of Vietnam’s history and culture, which is the birthplace of Vovinam.

Meanwhile, Mai Huu Tin, President of the World Vovinam Federation, mentioned that out of 70 countries and territories practicing Vovinam, 51 have representatives in the federation.

The federation will continue its efforts in promoting the cultural values of Vietnam among international friends.

35 Countries, Territories Take Part in World Vovinam Championship in HCM City
More than 650 athletes from 35 countries and territories worldwide will compete for 44 sets of medals in both performance and combat events. Source: thethao.sggp.org.vn

Vovinam has received the title of national intangible heritage through a decision signed by the Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

The traditional martial art form was founded by the late master Nguyen Loc in 1938 in Hanoi and has been well-preserved, promoted, and significantly developed by subsequent generations of martial arts masters.

The World Vovinam Federation was established in 2008, marking a milestone in the global development of the martial art, with continental federation members in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

In the Southeast Asian region, Vovinam has been included in many editions of the SEA Games. It was an official sport in the 31st Games in Vietnam in 2022 and the 32nd Games in Cambodia in May this year.

35 Countries, Territories Take Part in World Vovinam Championship in HCM City
Representative of Vietnam Vovinam Federation and the Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee received the certificate of intangible cultural heritage from Dang Ha Viet, director of the department of physical education and sports – Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Source: thethao.sggp.org.vn

Currently, Vovinam is practiced by more than 2.5 million martial artists from about 70 countries and territories worldwide.

In Vietnam, Vovinam is expected to have practitioners in all 63 cities and provinces. The martial art will be introduced and promoted in schools.

The Vietnam Vovinam Federation plans to establish a Vovinam Academy in HCM City to provide training for Vietnamese and international martial arts enthusiasts.

Simultaneously, a dossier on Vovinam will be submitted to UNESCO to seek recognition as a world intangible heritage.

Hannah Nguyen